Malta – OSCE Media Freedom Rep Welcomes the Public Inquiry Report on Assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia
Date: September 16, 2021
Valletta Malta, Memorial to journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia who was assassinated in 2017 (Shutterstock / Paul Mendoza)
VIENNA, 2 August 2021 – OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro welcomed the report published by the independent Public Inquiry Board into the assassination of renowned investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta in 2017. The Public Inquiry, launched in December 2019 by the Maltese authorities, was conducted by a board consisting of a retired judge, a former Chief Justice and a serving judge. This board was tasked to determine whether any wrongful action or omission by, or within, any State entity in Malta facilitated or failed to prevent the death of the journalist.
In its report, the Public Inquiry Board mentions several shortcomings by the Maltese authorities, stating that “[…] the State and its constituent entities did not recognize the real and immediate risk, including from the criminal actions of third parties, to the life of Daphne Caruana Galizia; and failed to take measures within its extensive powers which, with reasonable judgment, it was expected to take to prevent such a risk.” Further, the Board notes that all the evidence in the inquiry leads to the conclusion that the murder of Caruana Galizia was intrinsically, if not exclusively, linked to her investigative journalistic work. The Board also provided recommendations on legal reforms to strengthen rule of law and protect journalists.
“I welcome the publication of this landmark report of the independent Public Inquiry, which is a significant step in achieving justice for Daphne,” Ribeiro said. “I call on the Maltese government to promptly bring all perpetrators and masterminds behind the journalist’s murder to justice. Taking note of the apologies made by the government and its willingness to analyze in-depth the outcome of the report, I call upon the authorities to implement fully the recommendations made by the Board. Such implementation will pave the way for the safety of journalists and could form a step towards healing this profound wound in Maltese society.”
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments.